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And the winners are…

24 October 2016

The annual Food Processing Awards, sponsored by Festo, took place at the Malmaison hotel in Birmingham on 19th October, following on from an interesting and informative day at the Appetite for Engineering event. Find out who won what. 

Hygiene & Food Safety (sponsored by  Minebea Intec) – Holchem Laboratories won this one for its project with 2 Sisters Food Group to introduce Perbac OPD, a peracetic acid disinfectant designed for open plant disinfection, to strengthen the company’s Listeria management hygiene protocols.  Holchem supplied support throughout the introduction, and assisted with initial trials to ensure that the product would offer the most suitable solution.

Process & Packaging (Sponsored by Spiroflow) – Pacepacker Services was chosen by the judges for its offline Mixed Tray Loader (MTL) which was felt to offer a great solution to an emerging retail trend to group recipe ingredients together which has allowed food companies to cost-effectively keep up with retailer demands.

Robotics & Automation (Sponsored by Omron) – The judges felt that WAGO’s DIMA (decentralised intelligence for modular systems) offers a great solution for the decentralised automation of process systems by equipping the modules with their own intelligence – a vital requirement if the industry is to become more agile as we move towards Industry 4.0 goals.

Continuous Improvement (Sponsored by SMC Pneumatics) – The judges felt that OAL Connected offers a great tool to help in the creation of a simple connected automation solution for food manufacturing. The software looks at production as a whole, rather than isolated parts. It brings together vital elements such as traceability, performance, productivity, recipe management, packaging & date security and ERP validation.

Young Engineer of the Year (Sponsored by Festo) – Turns out everyone’s a winner! We wanted to celebrate all these hard working people, who are vital to the future success of the food industry.  There is a well publicised shortage of new talent coming into the industry and we did not feel that now was the time to judge one of these engineers as being better that the other. So, many congratulations to all of our winners and we look forward to following your careers in the industry and writing about your successes in future issues  – Kyle Brown, Allied Bakeries; Christian Dobson, Sheffield Hallam & Premier Foods; Charlie Hatt, Allied Bakeries; Shaheed Khattak, Mondelez .

Lifetime Achievement (Sponsored by Food Processing) – Professor John Gray, University of Manchester. John received this award for his unfailing willingness, hard word and total commitment to work with everyone in the food industry. He is a Professor of Robotics and Systems Engineering at the University of Manchester.  For many years John was Director of the Centre for Robotics and Automation at the University of Salford and established the DTI’s National Centre for Robotics Research there in 1988. He subsequently served as a Senior Scientist in Robotics at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa.  He is currently Chair of Defra’s Food Manufacturing Engineering Group and with the assistance of academic and industrial colleagues established the Innovate UK Robotics and Autonomous SIG Northern Robotics Network which had a successful launch event in September 2015. A worthy accolade for an industry stalwart!

We will soon be starting to look for next year’s Food Processing Award finalists so if you know of a worthy candidate, who should be given recognition for their innovative work in the food and beverage sector please do get in touch with us and let us know more.

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